30 Day Survival Challenge that ended up being 5 Days Long


This summer my family drove to Canada to visit some family. On those long 12 hour road trips I often get ideas on different blog series and posts to do. Posts that  would be fun for me and challenging at the same time.

In Canada where my husbands family lives there have been times when you cannot use the water for drinking out of the faucets for a few weeks due to flooding and water tables getting contaminated. You could flush your toilets and wash your clothes, but it was not safe to drink the water.  So, people had to purchase all their water – usually cases of water bottles or gallon size jugs.

It got me thinking… how would my family and I handle an emergency? Could I be more prepared for something like this? What about if there was an epidemic or natural disaster? Could I make it – what kinds of foods would I make? I would be forced to use up some of my stored wheat and beans most likely. And do tons of “from scratch” cooking. My curiosity made me want to do a challenge and find out.  I wanted that peace of mind of knowing I could do it.

But getting my family on board was the real challenge.

So… on the trip home from Canada..when my husband was trapped in the car with me (hee hee) I decided to ask him. Here is how the conversation went:

Me: Sooo…. I have this really cool idea for a blog post.

Happy Husband: Oh yeah? Like what?

Me:  It’s really cool. Plus it will save us some money.  (–>You see how I added that in to smooth the idea over to my accountant husband? ..me be a smart wifey..hee hee!) .

Me:  So what I am thinking is to have our family do a 30 day survival challenge of not going to the store at all. Trying to see if we can use up all the food we have in our pantry and some food storage. I know we have been out of town and have next to nothing in our fridge, so when we arrive home I think it would be the perfect time to do this. I don’t want to go and stock up before the challenge, I want this to be instant, like if a real emergency happened. What do you think?

Happy Husband: Hmm…sounds interesting.

Me: Oh and one other thing. I would love to also try to do all the water for our family too. So I think we should shut off our water, and I will go down to the river once a week to gather buckets of water, filter or boil it…and we would have to poop in buckets. Then probably bury it? Not really sure about that yet.

Happy Husband:  Looks at me like I am crazy. Then laughs. Then says… “Oh heck NO. I will NOT poop in a bucket.”

Me: Oh come’on! It wouldn’t be that bad…it’s kinda like camping.

Happy Husband: Not a chance. We can do the no-going-to-the-store challenge but not the water one.

Me: Humph. Sigh. Okay. Maybe we could try this food type challenge first and try the no water challenge another time.

Happy Husband: Says nothing. Just keeps driving.

Me:  Thinks to myself…that doesn’t mean NO! 🙂

 When we got home we bought a gallon of milk, some bread and some items to make dinner that first night. Then the next day we began a challenge to not go to the store for 30 days. I was both excited and nervous. I was ready for the challenge. I was ready to use up all the processed foods in my house so that I could begin a more real foods lifestyle of eating. I was trying to think of meals I could make with what I had.

Every night I wrote down a mini-journal entry of what we ate, tried to take some pictures so that I could share my experience and learned a few lessons. But I only made it to 5 days. And you will read all about why that happened soon.

Stay tuned friends, for a 5 day adventure in SURVIVAL….. Karrie style.


30 Day Survival Challenge that ended up being 5 Days Long was last modified: July 12th, 2014 by Karrie

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  1. Cheryl Moyer says:

    I am looking forward to your posts of “Survival”. Hope you had a lovely Turkey Day with family.

  2. Don’t tell us you raided the hen house!

  3. Back in November of 2011 when all 3 of my daughters lived at home (one is grown and married now) we came home from vacation to a well that did not work. The first day was no big deal we headed to the gym and went swimming, hot tub and then showered and went home. Long story short it was 11 days before our well was working again. I didn’t mind but the toilet thing and the dish washing was sad. However my girls did not find it entertaining at all to say the least.

  4. Good luck! We eat too many fresh fruits and veggies to go a whole month but I am sure if I was able to stock up we could make it at least 2 weeks – apples can last a long time. Can’t wait to read how it went.

  5. You can do this!!!

    Living well over an hour away from the nearest ‘city’, I have learned to shop and survive for a month on just one major grocery trip. We live in a small town and the prices at our local grocery store are insane! I have set a monthly grocery budget, and once a month, my husband, me, and our excessively large Igloo cooler load up in the truck and head to town. While there, we hit all the sales at Safeway, Freddy’s, Albertson’s, etc. Then its off to Costco…my personal favorite! 🙂

    I occasionally have to stop in at the local store for a few staples like milk or fresh fruit and veggies, but generally all my cooking is from the pantry and freezer. I try to make meals that will last a day or two (yes, leftovers!) and throw in a couple soup and sandwich nights to extend my supplies.

    It does take time to discipline yourself to one trip. There are always awesome sales in between shopping trips…just block them out…or set some money aside from your budget for those great deals.

    It can be done…Good Luck!!

    ps-I’m on your husband’s side on the water issue! 🙂

  6. I often have well issues because we have too many livestock to keep up, so we stock some toilet flushing water, cleaning water and cooking and drinking water. We also live over an hour away from the city so we often have to go a month without shopping. I’m curious how a lack of clean water made you think of not shopping?

  7. BeesAndChickens says:

    I almost feel wicked writing this email, but I just happen to be snarky enough (and hilarious in my own mind) to warrant it essential. The snark probably won’t even rear it’s head here. I will know more when I sign my name. After reading a few of your posts (please don’t ask me how I ever wound up here, because who even knows. Oh wait. I do. Homemade lye. I found you googling about homemade lye. So that’s established, thank goodness.) After reading about your survivalist challenge and laughing so hard when I saw that picture of your husband in the doorway with pizzas in his hands, that my husband felt compelled to find out what got me going, I decided that it is so darn good that we live on opposite sides of the country (you in Washington and me in North Carolina) because if we were neighbors, it would be one insane project after another. So here is where I turn from innocent letter writer to evil instigator. Having started a year and a half ago with one busy hive and now finding myself overwintering with 12, I ask you, have you ever thought about keeping bees?



    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      12 beehives! WOW! I totally want to do bees. So bad. But I think I may be able to move this summer to the country and I don’t want to move a beehive..so I wanted to wait to get started. But yes…totally on my TO-DO list!

  8. Erin C. says:

    ohmygoodness… our Fam is going to be doing a survival camp this summer… only ours is scheduled for just a week… I am so excited!!!!

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